Monday, April 23, 2012
Former Nets honored at halftime
By Mike Mazzeo
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets honored several former players and executives at halftime of their final game after 35 years in the Garden State on Monday night.
Jason Kidd, widely considered the greatest player in the franchise’s New Jersey history, gave a recorded video message to the sellout crowd in attendance at Prudential Center.
“Congratulations on the celebration of 35 years. That’s a long time,” Kidd said. “Being a Net was a great time of my career and a great honor. So I hope you guys enjoy tonight and hopefully I’ll see you guys soon. Take care.”
The Nets introduced Tim Bassett, Mike O’Koren, Darwin Cook, Albert King, Otis Birdsong, Micheal Ray Richardson, Darryl Dawkins, Chris Morris, Derrick Coleman, Chris Morris, Derrick Coleman, Kenny Anderson, Kendall Gill, Maurice Williamson, son of the late John Williamson and Biserka Petrovic, mother of the late Drazen Petrovic.
The Nets also honored several members on the 2001-02 team that reached the NBA Finals: trainer Tim Walsh, assistant coach Tom Barrise, executive Bobby Marks and GM Rod Thorn, who orchestrated the trade that brought Kidd to New Jersey, Todd MacCullough and Kerry Kittles.
“It was nice. It was well-done,” Kittles said, “recognizing all the good teams and players that have played here.”
The Nets are moving to Brooklyn and the $1 billion Barclays Center next season.
Gary Sussman jumped back in and served as the PA announcer. Co-owner Jay-Z was in attendance, though he was sporting an “N.Y.” hat.
Brook Lopez addressed fans before the game.
I’d just like to thank you this season for all your support on behalf of myself and the entire organization. ... Thanks for your support and we can’t wait to see you next season,” Lopez said.
With about 7 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter, a loud “Let’s Go Nets!” chant started.
The Nets showed two other tribute videos: one featured Vince Carter, Kenyon Martin and Buck Williams; the other featured Byron Scott, Brian Scalabrine and Coleman.